The step up to a managerial role can be an exciting, but daunting, new challenge. Suddenly, you are responsible for making sure your team is working together, achieving results, and that overall your department is running smoothly. There is no single technique to becoming an excellent manager, but the Essential Manager’s Handbook provides indispensable advice on six of the key areas of management.
The step up to a managerial role can be an exciting, but daunting, new challenge. Suddenly, you are responsible for making sure your team is working together, achieving results, and that overall your department is running smoothly.
There is no single technique to becoming an excellent manager, but the Essential Manager’s Handbook provides indispensable advice on six of the key areas of management.
is always evolving to reflect the complex workspace, but by learning the core skills outlined in this section, you will be well prepared to accommodate future change.
To run your team successfully, it is critical to be seen as a good leader. Leadership is the ability to create an environment where each individual feels totally committed to doing a great job. This section provides practical advice to help you to develop your leadership skills, allowing you to realize both your own and your team’s full potential.
Achieving this potential occurs through a combination of becoming more creative and confident, and improving your communication skills. In Achieving High Performance, you will be given the tools to understand yourself, and learn how to play to your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. The Effective Communication section of this book focuses on a wide range of topics, from planning a strategy to analyzing your audience, and will allow you to learn to communicate and listen well, both to your team and to your intended market.
A good manager also needs to be a successful presenter, as presentations have become an essential tool for business communication around the world. Whether you are delivering a formal speech, giving an informal address to your staff, or communicating with the media, the elements of great presentations are described in the Presenting section in clear, concise, and practical detail. Negotiating is challenging, complex, and exciting, and another important skill that all managers should master. This section outlines various techniques that can help to make you a more successful negotiator in every situation you face; from teaching you how to manage your own emotions, to understanding your negotiation style.
Throughout this book, there are many features aimed at helping you to learn the essentials of being a manager quickly and efficiently.
“Ask Yourself” boxes allow you to review your situation and assess how you can improve your skills, while “Tip” boxes provide expert advice. Case studies demonstrate real-life examples for you to learn from, and “Do’s and Don’ts” boxes provide at-a-glance advice on key topics.
The best way to enhance your selfawareness is to learn in a systematic way from your own experiences. Start by reflecting on situations in your working life, your actions in response to them, and the outcomes of these events. Schedule a regular time to do this, either at the beginning or end of a workday, when you are not in the thick of the action. Give yourself space to reflect, and make sure you can be alone and uninterrupted for a significant period of time. Try to gain a better understanding of what happened and think about how you can learn from each situation.Analyzing your performance
Assessing your progress toward your goals can help you gain a fuller understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Whenever you make a key decision or take a key action, write down what you expect will happen. Then, every three or four months, compare the actual results with your expectations. If you practice this method consistently, it will help you discover what you are doing, or failing to do, that deprives you of the full benefits of your strengths, and will demonstrate areas in which you are not particularly competent and cannot perform adequately.
A weighted assessment will make clear the criteria you can use to make a decision and give your decision transparency. In the simple example, right, a decision has to be made to adopt one of two projects—A or B; both seem attractive and have similar costs. To carry out the assessment, first engage with your team to make a list of criteria that the projects should satisfy. Not all criteria are of equal importance, so give each one a score from 1 to 10 depending on how valuable the team considers it to be. Check that the criteria are varied—not all skewed toward finance, for example. Score each option (A and B) out of 10 on each criterion, and multiply each score by its corresponding weighting. Add the scores to see which project fulfills the criteria best.
Leaders know all about the importance of realizing visions. They understand that any vision must have the organization’s future at heart. By discovering and developing up-and-coming leadership talent, today’s leaders play a vital role in the future of organizations across the world. When they get it right, their legacy will live on in generations of future leaders.
One of your key goals as a leader is to recognize leadership qualities in others, and to know how to encourage and assist future leaders so they can realize their full potential. It can be helpful to think of leadership growing in a series of transitions in self-awareness, skill, and responsibility. Recognizing these crucial changes in others, and responding appropriately to them, will help accelerate the development of new leaders in your organization. Each stage on the path to leadership will bring different challenges—not only in taking on new attitudes and responsibilities but also leaving behind familiar and comfortable behaviors. This can be a highly stressful time for newly appointed leaders and the individual may not recognize or expect the strains and associated emotions of transition to their new role. Feelings of uncertainty, being overwhelmed, and loss of confidence can immobilize new leaders at the very point that they are expected to shine. Moreover, it is unlikely that the person who is making the transition will feel comfortable raising these concerns with you, their manager, for fear of appearing to fail.